We’ve had a long journey to where we are now, in many ways. My husband and I were married in 2008. He moved into the condo I bought before I met him. Fifteen months later, we bought some property out in the country. About a week after that, we had our first child.
We were both 36 when we got married. So, we had duplicates of a lot of stuff. My husband never really fully unpacked there. Some of his furniture remained in the garage. When we bought the property, while we didn’t know when we would build on it, we began packing away unnecessary items. The garage became full of boxes stacked on top of one another.
In early 2012, I became pregnant with our second child. I finally finished my wedding scrapbooks that year – I filled two scrapbooks! It only took four years! But, I figured that was better than never finishing them at all. We broke ground on our new home that summer.
We had our daughter in the Fall, and we moved into our new home in January of 2013. It is a ranch-style home, with a basement. We didn’t finish the basement immediately, but we had plans to. More time for stuff to stay in boxes.
We finally began finishing it in 2015. We did quite a bit of the work ourselves (my husband did most of it), and so it took a while. We just had carpet installed about a month ago. I now have a jetted tub, and an office/scrapbooking room. It is glorious.
And now, the unpacking of forgotten items begins. A couple of years ago, we had a pump go haywire in the basement. It would occasionally spray a bunch of water everywhere. It took us a while to pinpoint the problem. It was an easy fix, with the help of a professional. Unfortunately, in the meantime, some of my scrapbooking items were ruined. In the clean-up, one of the wedding scrapbooks was knocked from a table and damaged. It was set aside to be repaired or replaced later.
Now that I have my own scrapbooking room, I finally got around to transferring the pages to a new album. It’s given me the opportunity to look at it for the first time in quite a while.
In it, I had printed the prayer I had asked my nephew to read at our wedding. I believe I found it in a wedding planning book that offered reading and prayer options. I’m not sure of the copyright issues, so I won’t include all of it here.
While I believed in God at that time, sadly, I can’t say for certain if I was really expecting God to hear this prayer, or if I just thought they were nice words for the ceremony. What was amazing to me when I read it, nearly nine years later, is that God has blessed us in all of the requests included in the prayer.
One of the areas that struck me, was the ending, which stated (paraphrasing) . . . and many years from now, may I look at you and think, because of you I am the person I always wanted to be.
It made me think about how much I have changed since we were married. While my husband has been incredibly supportive in my career choices, especially some that were potentially risky to our financial situation, we have had our share of problems. Marriage is hard. These days, people are encouraged to wait until they’re older to get married. We were on the older end, even these days. Frankly, I think getting married older, when you’re set in your ways, is actually harder. I think there is something to be said for marrying young, experiencing firsts, and growing up together.
What I realized, was that it has been the trials in our marriage that have made me closer to the person I want to be. When I said my vows, I didn’t know who that was. You don’t know what you don’t know. While it’s easy to point fingers and blame the other person when things aren’t going smoothly, ultimately, we can only change ourselves. Marriage has forced me to look at my own immaturity, and I finally had to grow up, big time.
Through trials, my relationship with God and my marriage have been strengthened. From the English Standard Version, James 1:2-5
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
I was lacking wisdom. I was so unwise, I thought I was wise. When we’re going through trials, we just want smooth sailing. But, it’s through those challenges, we experience true growth and learning. I’m praying that nine years down the road, I’ll be even closer to the person I want to be.